The final piece of the puzzle to get a good nutritional foundation down and in place is meal timing and planning.
While it’s great to understand the importance of choosing proper foods in your diet plan, you also need to know how to integrate these into a complete plan that will allow you to feel your best throughout the day.
That’s where meal timing and planning comes into play. Let’s have a quick look at what you need to know.
Meal Timing And Frequency
First you need to understand a few things about meal timing and frequency. For most people, best results will be had from eating many meals throughout the day, eating every 3-4 hours. This tends to help regulate blood glucose better, keep hunger under control, and maintain your energy levels better as well.
And, don’t let yourself feel intimidated by the fact that you have to cook and create so many meals. If you lead a busy lifestyle and only have time to prepare your three main meals each day, you can easily turn to smart and healthy meal replacement products such as an AdvoBar Snack, which contains 10 grams of protein and comes in at just 140 calories. This would make for the perfect mid-afternoon snack to keep your energy up until dinner – and beats whatever you might find in the vending machine.
Alternatively, you can pack healthy snacks to take with you from home such as a pop top can of tuna and some whole wheat crackers or home-made trail mix.
Many people struggle with the concept of eating more regularly throughout the day, but as they get started adding more meals to their diet, they find that they really come to prefer this.
Structuring Each Meal Properly
In addition to eating more frequently, you also want to structure each meal and snack with the right nutrients.
Ideally you’ll want to begin the day with a meal consisting of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, as well as some healthy fats.
The mid-morning, aim for some more protein and either healthy fats or complex carbohydrates (or fruit can work well here as well).
Next, for lunch, again strive for balance of nutrients, and if weight loss is the goal, consider omitting complex carbohydrates to keep your calories down.
Mid-afternoon, go for a protein and carb combo or protein along with healthy fats, and finish the day off with a dinner consisting of lean protein, healthy fats, and vegetables along with a protein based pre-bed snack.
Aim to eat vegetables with all meals and snacks if possible and if you’re aiming to build lean muscle mass or have a higher calorie requirement due to more activity, add a few more complex carbohydrates into the picture.
Structuring your diet in this manner will best control hunger, maintain your energy levels, and help you reach your body weight goals.
This now wraps up the main introductory principles that you need to know about good nutrition, so now let’s move into a few more advanced topics so you can further enrich your knowledge as you progress along.